An air-supported roof over the Dallas Cowboys’ practice field collapsed during a heavy thunderstorm Saturday afternoon, leaving 12 people injured, one critically, authorities said.
About 70 people, including more than two dozen of the team’s rookies, were in the facility when it was blown down shortly before 3:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. ET), team officials said. “Everyone, as far as we know, is accounted for,” said Mike Adams, a dispatcher for the Irving, Texas, fire department. A line of heavy thunderstorms was moving through the Dallas area at the time, he said. Dr. Paul Pepe, the fire department’s medical director, said 12 people were hurt. The most seriously injured was sent to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, while the rest went to other hospitals in the area. Video from CNN affiliate WFAA showed the roof caving in during a heavy storm, sending players, coaches and a handful of reporters and photographers scrambling to escape. WFAA-TV photojournalist Arnold Payne, who was on the sidelines of the indoor practice field when the collapse occurred, said the wind “just started shaking the sides of this big huge plastic practice tent.” “The lights started swinging from the ceiling, and just like that, the thing just started collapsing,” WFAA quoted Payne as saying. “They could hear people under there screaming; I could see two or three people injured.” Watch the roof collapse on players, coaches »
Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones told NBC that about 27 rookies from the NFL team and members of the team’s coaching staff were inside the suburban Dallas facility at the time. “They did not get good warning there, and the structure did collapse,” Jones said, speaking from the Kentucky Derby in Louisville. “We’re assessing who’s injured at this particular time.”